The Russian Federation occupies most of Eastern Europe and north Asia and is the largest of the 21 republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It has borders with these countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and North Korea.
Part of Russia is European, one part is Asian. Russia comprises eleven time zones. At the center of the former Soviet Union, Russia today is a democratic federation, with ethnic groups politically represented in their autonomous republics.
The country is rich in mineral and energy resources. The huge Volga river - Europe's longest - flows from northern Russia right into the Caspian Sea. Siberia has over half the territory but less than 20 percent of the population.
|Capital:||Moscow, 10,672,000 (metropolitan area), 10,101,500 (city proper)|
|Largest Cities:||St. Petersburg, 4,582,300; Novosibirsk, 1,395,500; Nizhny Novgorod, 1,340,900; Yekaterinburg, 1,256,600; Samara, 1,146,800; Kazan, 1,113,600; Ufa, 1,096,600; Chelyabinsk, 1,080,000; Perm, 998,800; Volgograd, 984,200|
|Land area:||6,562,078 sq mi (16,995,800 sq km)|
|Total area:||6,592,850 sq mi (17,075,400 sq km)|
|Form of Government:||Constitutional federation|
|Industry:||communications equipment, machine building, shipbuilding, road and rail transportation equipment, mining and extractive industries|
|Agriculture:||beef, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables|
|Exports:||natural gas, petroleum and petroleum products, wood and wood products, fur, metals|
|GDP per Capita:||USD 9,700|
|Ethnic Groups:||Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1%|
|Religion:||Russian Orthodox 15%–20%, other Christian 2%, Islam 10%–15% (includes practicing worshippers only)|
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